Staying safe over the summer - tips and advice

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Stay safe at the beach

  • Keep babies less than 6 months old out of the sun and keep older babies in the shade as much as possible
  • Stay in the shade when possible and try to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, when it's at it's strongest
  • Make sure your sunscreen protects against UVA & UVB rays. Apply regularly and use a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF30.
  • Make sure your sunscreen is in date, the majority of brands should be replaced every 12 months.
  • Put children in a T-shirt or UV protective suit where possible and remember to keep their shoulders covered.
  • Swim only in designated, supervised areas and swim between the red and yellow flags. Be mindful of undercurrents and hazards.
  • Never leave a child unattended near water and be mindful of winds and currents when using inflatables.

Stay safe at the playground

  • Check playgrounds for hazards, such as rusted or broken equipment and dangerous surfaces.
  • Remove necklaces, scarves or clothing with drawstrings that can get caught on equipment.
  • Actively supervise children on playgrouns and don't let them use equipment that isn't for their age range.
  • Always wear a helmet when bike riding, but take it off while on playground equipment.
  • Check playground equipment in the summertime. It can become dangerously hot, especially metal slides, handrails, and steps.
  • Teach your child to use the equipment correctly. Slide feet first, don't climb outside rails and no standing on swings.
  • Leave bikes, backpacks, and bags away from the equipment and the play area so they don't become a trip hazard.

Stay safe at home and away

  • If you are in a holiday let, make sure you're aware of where the cleaning products are stores and keep them out of reach of children.
  • If it's a hot day and you windows are open in the house, make sure they're not accessible to younger children.
  • Keep your home cool by closing the curtains in rooms that face the sun and ensure there is plenty of ventilation.
  • Be aware of BBQ's and keep children and any garden games away from the cooking area.
  • Keep children away when you mow the lawn as they are often attracted to mowers and should be made aware of the dangers.
  • Never leave the lawnmower unattended and don't let a child under the age of 16 ride a sit-on lawn mower.
  • If you're out and about on a bike ride or electric scooter, make sure your child always wears a helmet.

Bug bites and insect advice

  • Although most tick bites are harmless and only a small number of ticks are infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, it's still important to remove the tick as quickly as possible. For more information on how to remove a tick. please click here.
  • A vee will usually leave behind a stinger attached to a venom sac. Remove it quickly using a scraping motion, a hard-edged card like a debit card is perfect for removing the sting.
  • Wasps don't leave their stinger which means they can sting again. Clean the area with soap and water and apply an ice pack wrapped in cloth or a wet cloth for a few minutes. Use an age appropriate antihistamine to help with pain and itching, you can also apply calamine lotion.
  • Call 999 if a child shows signs of anaphylaxis after a bite. Symptoms include swelling of mouth, tongue and airway, which needs to be treated immediately.

Dehydration & heat stroke advice

  • Dehydration means your body loses more fluid than you take in. Drink plenty of fluids to stay safe.
  • Give your child frequent water breaks and spray down children with a spray bottle. Take cool baths and showers in extreme heat conditions.
  • Know the signs of dehydration: sunken eyes, drowsy, sunken fontanelle (soft spot on bay's head), headache or no urine passed for 12 hours.
  • If a child is still feeling unwell (confused, shortness of breath, high temperature above 40C, not sweating or loss of consciousness) after 30 mins of resting in a cool place and drinking plenty of water then call 999. Heatstroke can be very serious if not treated quickly. Put the child in the recovery position if they lose consciousness while you're waiting for help.

Holiday check list

  • Invest in a first aid kit including pain relief and antihistamines. Visit St Johns Ambulance website for further details.
  • Make yourself aware of where your nearest pharmacy, urgent treatment centre or minor injuries unit is in advance of going away.
  • Make sure you have plenty of any regular prescribed medication before going away.
  • Make yourself aware of your local surroundings and get to know the property that you are staying in. Assess hazards and dangers.
  • If you are abroad, make yourself aware of the emergency services telephone numbers.
  • If you are going on a long journey, make sure to carr plenty of water.

What health service should you use?

  • For common ailments and illnesses such as sore throat or grazed knee - SELF CARE
  • For advice on conditions such as headaches, aches & pains or upset stomach - PHARMACY
  • If your child has symptoms that don't go away such as eart ache or ongoing concerns - GP SURGERY
  • For urgent medical help that isn't an emergency, NHS 111 can direct you to the right service - NHS 111
  • Use only in an emergency such as loss of consciousness, breathing difficulties or heavy bleeding - EMERGENCY DEPT
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